Alex Haley, the author of “Roots” had an interesting picture hanging on the wall of his office. It was a picture of a turtle on a fence post. Whenever people asked him why that picture was there, Alex had one standard answer. He would say, “Every time I write something significant, every time I read my words and think that they are wonderful, and I begin to feel proud of myself, I look at the turtle on top of the fence post. And I remember that that turtle didn’t get there by himself. He had help.”
As we get close to the Thanksgiving holiday, we need to remember that the good things we have in our lives are because of God. Pride keeps people from being as thankful as they should be. Some will tell you “Nobody ever gave me a thing! I worked hard for everything I have.”
In Romans 1:21 Paul described what mankind is like in rebellion to God. He said, “For although they knew God, they did not honor Him as God or give thanks to Him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened.” In this passage, among the vilest sinners ever compiled in one list, Paul included the sin of not being thankful to God.
We sometimes forget that what we have is ONLY because of God’s blessing. What we have is not just because of our own skill, wisdom, knowledge, beauty, abilities or hard work. We may have those attributes – but from where do they come?
Let’s be thankful on Thanksgiving. But as Christians, let’s live lives of thankfulness. Remember James 1:17 “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with Whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.” Remember the turtle on the fence post. He did not get there by himself. We did not make any of our accomplishments without God’s blessing.